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“Walk in the Fog”
Review of Balboa Island

Balboa Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Man-made island that features upscale shops, restaurants and an amusement park.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

We took a walk and took a lot of pictures by the liittle boats and talked to locals. There is a little coffee shop where you can get a cup of coffee and have long walk around the island. There are however many others all around, not so much the quietest place.

3  Thank GNZ_M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"frozen banana"
in 87 reviews
"the main street"
in 77 reviews
"wilma's patio"
in 14 reviews
"shops and restaurants"
in 51 reviews
"marine avenue"
in 23 reviews
"great place to walk"
in 19 reviews
"fun shopping"
in 14 reviews
"cute shops"
in 16 reviews
"boat parade"
in 15 reviews
"window shopping"
in 12 reviews
"few hours"
in 28 reviews
"walk around"
in 22 reviews
"nice walk"
in 13 reviews
"ferris wheel"
in 27 reviews
"car ferry"
in 19 reviews
"fun zone"
in 31 reviews
"southern california"
in 14 reviews
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831 - 835 of 1,213 reviews

Reviewed November 15, 2013

My wife and I have been visiting Balboa Island together for about 20 years. We now try to make the pilgrimage from Las Vegas at least 3 times a year, with our daughters (5yrs and 2 yrs).

When arriving onto the Island, your best best is to make a right off of Marine Ave and find a spot to park in front of one of the beach houses on the first few streets. Parking is free, but on Marine Ave there is a time limit. The streets are mostly "one way" on the island.

Start your morning at Wilma's Patio. Try one of their bloody Maries. If you're visiting in the fall months, the pumpkin pancakes are a must. I'm not big on pancakes but theirs arereally good.

Kitty-corner to Wilma's Patio is the NBFD Station. On most days you can take a peak into the vehicle bay and browse the many framed pictures on the wall. It's a museum initself. My daughters love to sit in the fire engine for a quick photo opp. They also have a restored fire truck from the 1930s(?).

Spend the next hour or two browsing the shops on Marine Avenue. Most are privately owned and managed, which has a nice sense of community and a laid-back feel. Yes, most shops are a little pricey, but we always find a few bargains when we go. (mostly clothes for my wife. go figure)

Lunch is usually done on the run, though you can easily find plenty of places on Marine Ave to sit down and take a break from the shops. My favorite place for a sit-down lunch is the Park Avenue Cafe, which is down the street from the Balboa Island Ferry. About a 10-minute walk from Marine Avenue.

A stroll around the bigger island takes about 45 minutes. The homes are spectacular and many of the home owners proudly display their living areas via large fold-away windows, allowing passersby to take a peak inside, from the walking path. Most of the island residents are friendly enough, offering a greeting and a smile as you stroll by.

Most weekends offer "Open House" events for realestate sales. It's fun to peak inside of the homes and compare. Some of the homes have been restored to their original 1920s condition, while others are ultra-modern and truly amazing to walk through.

Take the Balboa Island Ferry and head to the peninsula for a walk through the Balboa Fun Zone. You can head to the Balboa Pier and have a shake at the original Ruby's Diner. Best milkshakes on the planet, in my opinion.

Take the ferry back to the island and walk toward Marine Avenue to get your name in for dinner. Our favorites are Wilma's Patio (Great clam chowder), Amelia's (great pasta), and Ciao (Italian fare).

Finish off the day with another stroll around Marine Ave. Get a "World Famous" Balboa Bar from either of the walk-up icecream shops, then stroll around a bit more. The Island feels very different at night. The beach houses seem to transform and look fantastic.

Last advice: COMFORTABLE SHOES!!!!

4  Thank Cube44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

beautiful homes, expensive cars and rich people pretty much sums this little pocket up. Worth a look.

Thank Ron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

This island town is wonderful
You have cute shops and many restaurants to pick from.
We always visit the Olive Oil shop.
You will find amazing tasting balsamic vinegars and a huge variety of olive oils.

Thank Calchamp1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 27, 2013

Balboa Island is basically a shopping oasis close to Newport Beach. We spent an afternoon there walking along looking at all the shops and enjoying wonderful food and desserts. Parking was very difficult but eventually we found a place. It was extremely crowded but I can see why since it was so popular. My family had a great time and it is a must see when we return to the Newport Beach area.

3  Thank stepford wife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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